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References

Steve Kanstoroom

All of the other flood victims in the meeting told their stories, but when Kanstoroom asked to speak, the moderator cut him off and said it was time for a coffee break, Myer said.

"The citizens said, 'Oh, no. You need to sit down because, so far, he's the closest thing we've had to an answer in six months. We're not taking a coffee break,'" she said.

March 23 Maryland State House Meeting
Flood Victims; MD Insurance Commissioner; Federal Insurance Administrator

Baltimore Sun - Andy Green
March 28, 2004

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“The National Flood Insurance Program relies on such a complex interaction of private insurance carriers, adjusting firms and third-party administrators that, despite decades of experience by top NFIP officials, no one in the program fully understood all the nuances of how the system works. But somehow, Kanstoroom has put together the big picture in a way that others haven't.”

"Steve has done an excellent job”

Federal Insurance Administrator Anthony S. Lowe
Baltimore Sun - Andy Green
March 28, 2004

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"He's part insider, part Deep Throat, and he showed 'em the smoking gun," said Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., who sat in on some of Kanstoroom's meetings with the NFIP last week.

"As a former judge, I sat there watching this guy and thinking, `This guy would be the best lawyer who ever argued in front of me.' He was so organized," Smith said. "I just sat there as their jaws dropped and dropped. It was almost surreal."

Baltimore County Executive, Jim Smith
Baltimore Sun - Andy Green
March 28, 2004

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County Executive and former Circuit Court judge calls for US Attorney to investigate, based on conversations with flood victims, meetings involving flood victim activist Steve Kanstoroom and top NFIP officials that Smith attended, and documents that Kanstoroom gave him, including letters to and from victims, federal regulations, contracts and other materials.

Baltimore Sun - Andy Green
May 9, 2004

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“At this point we could see our lives ruined for years to come. With Steve’s perseverance, we finally received total compensation for our property damage in the amount of $70,000, the actual amount of covered damages, more than three times what our carrier and adjuster first told us we were entitled to.”

D. Davis, Talbot County Maryland
June 16, 2004

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Somehow, this private citizen, working for free, was able to travel 90 miles to meet an adjuster and provide information concerning the workings of the program, its regulations, and how they applied to my claim in ways that no one in the state or federal government had. Within days of Mr. Kanstoroom’s meeting on my behalf I received a proof of loss form in an amount that will fully compensate me for my property damage - a difference of more than 50% of what Allstate told me I was entitled to.

V. Budd, Talbot County Maryland
July 14, 2004

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"I think it's egregious that people are still living in temporary, run-down environments," Grosfeld said. "[The government] shouldn't be waiting around for a person like Steve Kanstoroom to be putting together this information. The fact that these claims are still out there, that people are living in the way they are, demonstrates their needs have not been met."

MD Senator Sharon Grosfeld
Baltimore Sun
July 30, 2004

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“I’m extremely concerned. Some of things hinted at are scary, and shameful. The fact that the process has dragged for so long… it should have been done and behind us. Steve and Bernice have done a yeoman’s job.”

MD Senator Norman Stone
East County Times
August 10, 2004

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This citation is presented to Steve Kanstoroom in Honor of his outstanding service to the citizens of Maryland.

Thank you for your untiring efforts on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Isabel.

Barbara Mikulski, United States Senator
Received September 6, 2004

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This certificate of appreciation and recognition is presented to Steve Kanstoroom for your efforts to help and assist citizens of Maryland recovering from Tropical Storm Isabel. Your efforts exemplify the spirit of volunteer service in Maryland and the State's long tradition of the spirit of giving to those who need assistance.

Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., Governor
Michael S. Steele, Lieutenant Governor
Received November 9, 2004

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I commend your efforts to fight such a battle on behalf of so many wronged victims. You and Beth Midgett have already made a tremendous difference for thousands of victims. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Click here to view letter.

J. Robert Hunter
Former Federal Insurance Administrator and
Texas Insurance Commissioner
November 18, 2004

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www.femainfo.us is a must read for every policyholder.

The Pittsburgh Tribune in a column entitled "Ripping off the Insured"

By Dimitri Vassilaros
November 28, 2004

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I recently met with several flood victims advocates, all private citizens, who brought to my attention problems within FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program "NFIP."

I was shocked and appalled after reviewing several of their documents and a video produced by WINK TV. These documents and video contain very serious allegations of wrongdoing within the program, in concert with its private administrative contractor and private insurance company partners.

I was even more troubled to learn these private citizens have now found Congressional testimony detailing a potential conflict of interest between the DHS Inspector General’s office and the insurance industry. The testimony makes clear the insurance industry lawyer representing virtually all of the private insurance company participants in the NFIP also trained the NFIP adjusters and IG Special Agents.

Just today I received a letter from former Presidential appointee J. Robert Hunter. Mr. Hunter is a former Federal Insurance Administrator and Texas Insurance Commissioner.

He concludes that if the practices uncovered by the private citizens are as documented, fraud may have occurred on a large scale.

A strong connection appears to exist between the problems uncovered and low-ball settlements which have left my constituents living in FEMA campers for fourteen months after Hurricane Isabel.

I believe these are extremely serious matters and understand your office has been aware of them for at least a month. It is unthinkable the burden of investigating industry giants has been permitted to fall upon the backs of private citizens. Even more unthinkable are the allegations federal investigators have attempted to intimidate one of these citizens in an effort to cover-up his findings. I request you take every appropriate action to investigate the policy sales, use of premiums, and claims handling practices carried out by the NFIP, its contractors and business partners promptly.

Click here to view the letter.

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis
Excerpt of letter to US Attorney General
November 29, 2004

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To whom it may concern:

As servants of Christ we are sent into the world to engage in the struggle for justice and restoration. This past summer we learned of Steve Kanstoroom's advocacy and investigatory efforts on behalf of our parishioners with flood related insurance claims problems. Next, we learned of his similar efforts helping others in our town and across the State. Then we learned of his work helping Floridians and decided to support his work as a form of outreach. We recently viewed some of his results and findings. Afterward, we were moved to step up our support of his work. We are doing so by increasing our fund raising efforts in hopes of multiplying his mission.

Pastor David Rector and Oxford United Methodist Church
January 10, 2005

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I was very concerned to learn an investigation by retired fraud detection and pattern recognition expert, Mr. Steven Kanstoroom, found insurance companies refusing to fairly pay flood claims for fear of setting a precedent on their non-flood property claims.  

Click here to view letter.

Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis
Excerpt of letter to President Bush
January 26, 2005

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Particularly troubling is a training disparity that a pattern recognition and fraud detection expert, Mr. Steven Kanstoroom, found. Mr. Kanstoroom has been investigating FEMA related issues for the past fourteen months. He received significant materials from government and industry whistleblowers after being recognized by the Federal Insurance Administrator an as expert on the NFIP. He discovered the NFIP’s private contractor trains sales agents to tell victims they will be restored to their pre-flood condition while simultaneously training claims adjusters to allow only narrowly defined coverage in limited amounts. Recently the sales agent training, as reported, was attested to by a Maryland insurance broker.

Equally troubling is an apparent conflict of interest involving the flood insurance industry lawyer. His attached congressional testimony makes clear he represents every private insurance carrier writing flood insurance, yet simultaneously he also trains the NFIP sales agents, general adjusters and Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General agents. ...

A victims’ website has been setup by Mr. Kanstoroom that contains details regarding all of the information contained in this letter. He informed me that the site is receiving identical complaints from victims in your state as well as nine other states. Copies of congressional calls for investigations and other materials can be viewed on his site at www.femainfo.us. The Maryland Insurance Administration is not affiliated in any way with Mr. Kanstoroom. However, I have met with him on many occasions on these issues and I encourage you to contact him as well regarding the NFIP.

Alfred W. Redmer, Jr., Maryland Insurance Commissioner
Letter to 13 State Insurance Commissioner
March 18, 2005

Click here to view the letters.

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In addition, I have met with Steve Kanstoroom, who has been an advocate for consumers not only in Maryland but across the country. Mr. Kanstoroom has been investigating FEMA related issues for the past year. He has spent a great deal of time meeting with consumers and others gathering data and compiling information related to the problems which individuals have had in settling their flood claims. Mr. Kanstoroom's experience in pattern recognition and fraud detection has allowed him to review this material with a degree of expertise, which
has been extremely helpful in determining what problems exist with the flood program.

Alfred W. Redmer, Jr., Maryland Insurance Commissioner
Congressional Testimony
April 14, 2005

Click here to view the written testimony.

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I am committed to assuring that you receive what you are entitled to under your flood insurance policies. To that end, I have asked Mr. Steven Kanstoroom to present you fundamental information regarding the operations of the National Flood Insurance Program and its claims adjusting process.

Mr. Kanstoroom, a pattern recognition and fraud detection expert who has spent 6,000 hours investigating the NFIP and its claims adjusting process, has been instrumental in two Congressional Hearings. Former Federal Insurance Administrator Anthony S. Lowe stated that “the National Flood Insurance Program relies on such a complex interaction of private insurance carriers, adjusting firms and third-party administrators that, despite decades of experience by top National Flood Insurance Program officials, no one in the program fully understands all of the nuances of how the system works. But somehow Steven Kanstoroom has put together the big picture in a way that others haven’t.”

I met Mr. Kanstoroom when I chaired a Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, a hearing last month, and I was taken aback by the information that he has uncovered. That is why I am sitting next to him today, asking him to share his information with you.

Click here to view the video.

Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick
June 3, 2005

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[Steve Kanstoroom] A leading consumer advocate, taking the insurance industry to task.

CNN - Gerri Willis
September 17, 2005

Click here to view the transcript.

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More than 100,000 Gulf Coast homeowners who are expecting help from the federal flood insurance program may be in for a bitter surprise, according to victims of a hurricane that hit the state of Maryland two years ago this week.

"Pennies on the dollar.  And they'll be unable to rebuild their homes and lives just as victims from numerous storms across the country have been subjected to for the last two years," says Steve Kanstoroom, founder of FEMAINFO.us, a Web site advocating for flood victims, including those whose homes were damaged when Hurricane Isabel triggered a flood surge in the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland's Insurance Commissioner found "FEMA adjusters systematically low-balled the losses of thousands of Maryland victims."

FEMA's response - "No comment."

ABCNEWS World News Tonight, Brian Ross
September 20, 2005

Click here to view video.

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KANSTOROOM: If you have a substantial loss, you're about to be in for the fight of your life.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We understand they can't live forever in shelters.
President G. W. Bush

CNN - Lou Dobbs
September 22, 2005

Click here to view video.

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The flood insurance industry has been under attack for two years because many people were dissatisfied with FEMA's response to Hurricane Isabel. In June, a federal lawsuit was filed accusing top FEMA and Department of Homeland Security officials, as well as private insurance companies, of knowingly paying out far less than policy holders deserved to repair flooded homes and property. Much of the information on alleged wrongdoing was found in an investigation by Steve Kanstoroom, who runs the Web site http://www.femainfo.us.

The Washington Post - Joshua Partlow
September 26, 2005

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Hundreds of thousands of hurricane flood victims along the Gulf Coast are only now realizing they were misled by the government on their need for flood insurance. Today, FEMA officials acknowledged to ABC News that their maps are outdated and that their call center was flawed. They said FEMA has begun a billion-dollar program to update the maps. That program, however, will take until 2009 to complete. "The people who relied upon these maps, in many cases, ended up in harm's way, flooded, without flood insurance, and had no idea that they were in danger," said Steve Kanstoroom, founder of FEMAINFO.us, a Web site advocating for flood victims.

ABCNEWS World News Tonight
October 4, 2005

Click here to view video.

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[Kanstoroom's] testified numerous times before Congress and has become the de facto hurricane and flood victim advocate. The stories he tells there will make your spine tingle and your heart hurt.

MSNBC - Bob Sullivan
November 1, 2005

Click here to view report.

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Thanks in part to his efforts, in 2004 the National Flood Insurance Program agreed to review any of the 24,000 Isabel claims, and $8.2 million has since been doled out. But Kanstoroom contends that FEMA, which administers the insurance, has repeated its mistakes since Isabel. (The agency would not comment.) So he's helping other victims get their due via his site, Femainfo.us. His advice could apply to any insurance customer: "The best defense is knowing what you're entitled to."

Click here to view article.

Money Magazine - Kate Ashford
June 2006

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In giving Steve this well-deserved recognition, I know that his determination to right wrongs for tens of thousands of victims on a national level will continue to help right wrongs in our county. We are very lucky to have him living in our county and in our country.

Montgomery County Civic Federation - Community Hero Award
President Wayne Goldstein
October 9, 2006

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For your heroic efforts to help Maryland citizens to receive their compensation for catastrophic losses; your tireless efforts to publicize the plight of victimized citizens and your determination to uncover the sources of hardship. You are a true inspiration to us all.

Governor's Citation presented by Wayne Goldstein on behalf of Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich
October 9, 2006

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Your diligent research and volunteer support on behalf of [Maryland citizens], just to name two of the many you have assisted, is commendable and much appreciated by all. ... Again, thank you for your tireless advocacy on behalf of Maryland victims of Hurricane Isabel.

Shawn Karimian
Acting Secretary
Maryland Department of Community Development
October 25, 2006

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For compassion, commitment and advocacy on behalf of hurricane and flood victims, enabling them to obtain just compensation and to rebuild their homes and lives.

2007 Civil Justice Award - For efforts on and passage of Bad Faith Insurance legislation in the 2007 MD General Assembly
Maryland Trial Lawyers Association
May 11, 2007

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ABC7 HAS OBTAINED INTERNAL EMAILS BETWEEN TOP FEMA OFFICIALS ABOUT POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FORMALDEHYDE IN TRAILERS ALONG THE GULF COAST.
THOSE INTERNAL EMAILS INDICATE THAT FEMA APPEARS TO BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF ITS OWN EMPLOYEES THAN TESTING THE TRAILERS OCCUPIED BY STORM VICTIMS.

Steve Kanstoroom/Hurricane Victims' Advocate: "FEMA's been notified of these sorts of problems since 2003 and rather than do the right thing, they continually try to push it under the rug." ... "FEMA's role is to help these people, not to hurt these people. To cover up what's affecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society is outrageous. Absolutely outrageous."

Click here to view report.
ABC7 - Andrea McCarren
November 28, 2007

 

Recent Site Updates
















Catastrophe Claims News:

Victims file $2 billion fraud suit

Maryland Insurance Commissioner alerts 13 commissioners, including AL, MS, LA and TX to flood adjusters' low-balling tactics

Former Presidential appointee and TX Ins. Com. speaks out on NFIP, "Fraud may have occurred on a large scale"

Desperate Moms plead for help from Laura Bush, Oprah and Montel

DHS Internal Briefing - To the Secretary and Senior Staff; US Senators request DOJ Investigation into FEMA

FEMA Insiders Report Internal "Disaster in the making" Expert reports plummeting moral, eroded capabilities and disaster professionals leaving FEMA in droves

Press Index



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